The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus

The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus is exactly what the title suggests; a chaotic adult-only performance. With more f-bombs than a Tarantino movie, drugs, violence, and tricks it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Think Playschool meets the circus with a dash of, scratch that a lot of, cocaine.

Your two hosts for the evening are Adelaide’s Murder clown the sane and YouTube star TK. The two have a disastrously intentional rapport and as the show develops so does their descent into madness and their escalation into chaos.

The “circus” side of the show is clearly where it shines the brightest. Expect card tricks, fire-breathing, rope escapes and perverse animal balloon making. These elements are the ultimate crowd-pleasers and come with quite a lot of unique skill and humour. The children’s show element is akin to that of Sammy J’s Playground Politics in its use of adult themes presented to the audience as if they were five. The utilisation of this theme gives us one particular long-winded joke that works quite well. There does seem to be a bit of a peculiar imbalance between the two elements, but you can quite easily accept it as an oddly twisted showcase.

The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus brings familiar comedic stylings to that of The Eric Andre Show, Family Guy, and Monty Python albeit not at the same level. Certain jokes certainly overstay their welcome in their ambition. A “technical difficulty” drags out and its occasional moments of laughter ultimately become overshadowed by its enormity. A particular opening joke, unfortunately, matches the overly long formula and doesn’t necessarily land to well with audiences either. The closing joke involving a pie with a rather special ingredient doesn’t pay-off its effective set-up either. However, there are plenty of dead-pan moments, a political skit, and heated arguments that certainly do not escalate to where you expect them to (another bright moment). Ultimately there is great conflict within the show, as there are aspects that work brilliantly and others that don’t so much.

The obtuse aspects of this show are certainly commendable in taking great risks and ignoring the norm to deliver a unique experience. The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus’s absurdist and unconventional approach is more likely to stay in one’s mind than other Fringe shows this year. But you might feel as though it needs just a little bit more fine-tuning.

3.5 / 5 stars


Words by Isaac Freeman

The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus is showing again at Ancient World on March 12

For more information and to purchase tickets click here

Big Glittery Sh!tshow

Big Glittery Sh!tshow… What can I say? The name says it all.

A perfect show for a night out with friends, and definitely not a night out with family, Big Glittery Sh!tshow is a cacophony of lights, glitter, singing, and drinking.

Set against the background of The Parlour in Gluttony, Big Glittery Sh!tshow is a show that just doesn’t make sense. Awkward laughs, in your face attitude, and the sculling of various liquors will be thrust upon the audience in this late-night show.

Starting with fluffy dressing gowns and a lunch box, the show quickly progresses to sexy skipping rope jumping, potato throwing, aggressive trampolining and more. Incorporating classic Fringe staples such as ladder tricks and hula hoops with groovy music and dildos in a strange and enjoyable cocktail of fun. There might even be a fight to the death with members of the audience in a strange saga involving rubber ducks.

Continuously drinking between each act, the show gets more and more ridiculous as the night goes on. At the Fringe, you’ve got to be different to be noticed, and the masterminds behind Big Glittery Sh!ishow were successful in this; creating an atmosphere of reckless abandon. For one hour, I was sitting inside a world of shiny, gold, alcohol-soaked antics with absolutely no consequences.

Almost a cabaret show on crack; this dark and stupidly funny show is like a vodka aunt back in her glory days: inappropriate, nonsensical, outrageous and just plain sexy.

This show is for people wanting to forget about their lives and be swept away into a riot of colour and gold unitards. Recommended for an 18+ audience, preferably without a parent in tow, it might get a tad awkward.

I give this show a four and a half stars for its unapologetic approach to Fringe entertainment.

 

4.5 / 5 stars


Words by Sarah Ingham

Big Glittery Sh!tshow is on at Gluttony until February 29

For more information and to book tickets click here

Circolombia: Acelere

Forget conventionally mundane circuses with animal acts, cheesy showmanship and striped leotards. The stylings of Circolombia and their show ACELERE are all you need!

Hailing from Colombia, these group of artists bring many a jaw-dropping spectacle to the stage along with a refreshing injection of richly energetic culture. South-American musicality is on full display through the group’s exceptional vocalists and their collectively raw and kinetic style of dance. No matter the backing track (whether it be eerily atmospheric or full of Colombian flavour) ACELERE has a great balance and sense of unison with its sound and visuals. With the aforementioned vocal and dance performances serving as interludes or introductions to the next act, they work well to build audience anticipation.

Now, on to what everyone hopes for when seeing a circus act. Outstanding acrobatics and stunts. ACELERE manages to deliver these desires in droves. You may see limited potential in what can be achieved with a beam, a plank, wires, or large rings but Circolombia certainly doesn’t. Their approach to each of these obstacles/tools is so out of the box and inventively creative. Their rope and wire work is hypnotising as a result of their ability to use whatever they hold an extension of themselves.

Without a doubt, you’ll be sucked into sudden trances of movement before being slapped across the face with yet another dramatic manoeuvre. A large seesaw style plank serves as fuel on the fire for the performers to escalate their antics and constantly one-up each other. The giant ring is also a daring art for the performance, proving the strength, agility, and balance of the artists ten-fold.

ACELERE even manages to work its set up in a new way. Rather than just setting up mats or apparatuses in the background, they are interacted with as the performers find their place on stage. Circolombia flip, slide and vault around them as they seamlessly begin to transition into the conquering of their next stunt.

It’s unconventional, passionate, and successfully brings new life into the circus.

4 / 5 stars


Words and photography by Isaac Freeman

Circolumbia: Acelere is on until March 15

For more information and to book tickets, click here

Rouge

Rouge, presented by Gluttony and Highwire Entertainment, incorporates beautiful acrobats, incredible physique, and tantalizing burlesque to create a show just as suggestive and blush-inducing as the powder it was named after.

The line for Rouge was long. Squished into our seats, the anticipation was thick. We were not disappointed, it was absolutely spectacular.

There were a number of role reversals between traditional men and women’s gender roles threaded throughout the performance. Where there would usually be more of a focus on men and women dancing or doing acts together, there were men dancing with men, women with women, and women leading men. Huge male acrobats on the shoulders of a female, women with whips and men in underwear are just a few of the surprising things that make Rouge stand out.

With amazingly spectacular costumes, flashing lights and an incredible opera singer, Rouge engaged the senses. From the very moment you enter the tent, you’ll feel at home with the boisterous and cheeky performers. Engaging and friendly, their characters will keep you laughing throughout the show.

With the slogan ‘circus for grown-ups’, you can guess that the sexual references and nudity might be prevalent; and you would be right. Anyone who would like a good time and a good laugh, book in to see Rouge. Perfect for a good night out with friends who will be able to chuckle and gasp along with you.

Five stars from me!


Words by Sarah Ingham

Under the Covers

Under the Covers is presented by our home-grown adult circus school Zigzag Circus. The performers were met with an enthusiastic and supportive audience, contributing to the warm vibe of the Empyrean, a charming circus tent.

I am always truly fascinated by physical theatre and I have a great deal of respect for those with the skills and capabilities to perform in remarkable ways with their bodies. This applies to Under the Covers as students from Zigzag displayed raw talent with dances, ribbon routines, balancing atcs, and aerial arts. The individual showcases of talent were impressive and entertaining, and the students had appeared to be granted artistic license and freedom over their work, resulting in a show full of integrity.

Under the Covers as a title holds double meaning, as it is not only reference to the show’s description as a ‘late night pyjama party’, but it is making comment on the fact that the routines are performed to the best and worst cover songs of our time. This is an appealing idea, but if audiences had not read up on the show and had no prior recognition of the connection between cover songs and performance acts, this cheeky layer of Under the Covers may have been lost. It would have been good to have a reference to the covers within the performance.

As a collective production Under the Covers could have been smoother and more refined as there was the occasional technical hiccup or display of nerves. But credit should be given to the performers’ commitment to their artistic endeavours. This was also the ensembles’ first Fringe show, yet they generally handled themselves with control and composure. I take my hat off to Zigzag Circus; they are made up of a group of performers who rehearse once a week on top of life’s other commitments. We need to keep supporting these local acts as with greater experience and exposure in festivals like the Fringe, these already enjoyable shows with continue to grow, the fine-tuning and polishing will become more prominent, and the professionalism will be enhanced.

Overall, Under the Covers is an amusing show to add to your Fringe calendar.


Three stars

Under the Covers is playing at Gluttony until March 3.

Words by Michelle Wakim

By a Thread

By a Thread is a beautiful acrobatic show that emphasises the importance of teamwork with an elegance that I’ve never seen before. For an hour-long show, the performers captivate the entire audience with just one very long rope and two pulleys. Having the rope suspended with two sides of the rope dangling from the roof, it echoes simple symmetry that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to watch.

I was drawn in by the playful nature of the team, how they all worked together to create such anxiety-inducing acrobatic acts. Fun, sharp and comedic at times, you can see the pleasure and adrenaline on the gymnast’s faces as they fly, scurry, and fall around the stage. I was lucky to be sitting close enough to see the sweat on their backs and the concentration on their faces.

From young to experienced, the seven performers put their lives on the line and in the trust of one another to show off their skills on the rope. The show is an incredible testament to the human body and the feats that it can accomplish.

With music varying from orchestral masterpieces to modern techno along with a mesmerising light show, the seasoned professionals play the rope like second nature.

Overall, an entertaining act nestled back of Gluttony in an airconditioned tent. Absolutely anyone can go and see this wholesome show and leave with a full heart and a smile on your face.

Four stars from me!


Words by Sarah Ingham

By a Thread is showing at Gluttony until March 17.

The Talents of Darkness

The Loft in The A Club on Waymouth Street was turned into a room full of magical acts, drag, and fire by the team behind The Talents of Darkness. For an hour, they treated attendees to a variety of acts from many different performers. It was a show which was both entertaining and thrilling.

One of the best performances of the evening came from the main presenter, Bebe Trixc. For one of their acts, Trixc got a volunteer from the audience to give them $50 which would then be sealed in an envelope. A set of envelopes were put into a paper shredder, narrowing down to the one with the money in it. The tension built as each envelope was shredded, wondering if they’d shredded the wrong one or not. This was made even tenser when they told another volunteer to check the shredder.

Other great acts included the hip-hop hula hoop by performer Phoenix and a fire-breathing act by Murder Clown the Sane. All the costumes were also very well done and evoked a classic circus and cabaret feeling, from mime to dancer.

Another thrilling act was fire-spinning, performed by Abyss. Even if they were thrilling, the fire acts didn’t seem to break new ground. My enjoyment was also dampened by the confinements of the room itself. These fire acts made the room hot and at one stage it was difficult to breathe. The room also concerned me, safety wise, especially when one of the acts accidentally dropped their fire stick. If it was more of an open area then I would have enjoyed these fire acts a lot more.

The Talents of Darkness is a show full of fun and thrilling acts. All the performers did well and made for an entertaining evening. The only real let-downs were the fire acts and the room itself, but these were only minor issues. It was an enjoyable show with a lot of thrilling action and tension. Definitely go check it out if you can. They will be playing until March 3 at the A Club.

3.5/5


Click here for more on The Talents of Darkness, including ticketing information.

Review by Cameron Lowe

Mutating Roots

The main performer of Mutating Roots is Japanese Australian circus artist Mayu Muto. She uses dance and acrobatics to weave her story of cultural loss, gendered assumptions, and becoming cross cultural.

Muto’s physical performances are amazing. Her dance and acrobatic skills were mesmerizing. Watching her spin around and descend I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Muto’s performance was complimented by her incorporation of a wooden cage. This cage helped convey feelings of helpless-ness and being trapped.

Dressing up as a Japanese schoolgirl was another highlight, it offered both a comedic relief while also discussing a wider issue in terms of gender stereotype, particularly with Japanese women.

Although kept to a minimum, the dialogue that was used was powerful. They spoke of fear and anger that the performer had encountered. Those few words conveyed so much feeling and emotion while only being extremely short.

While I did find the show enjoyable, I had a lot of trouble with following the overall story. I found myself lost throughout the performance and wasn’t sure I knew what was happening. Unfortunately, I only grasped the story two-thirds the way through which was disappointing.

Mutating Roots is an intriguing performance. Muto has some heart-stoppingly amazing dances and her spoken word section is well done. However, my confusion as to what was happening did dampen my experience.

 


Mutating Roots is playing at Gluttony’s Empire Theatre until March 3, to find out more follow the link.

3.5 Stars

Words by Cameron Lowe

Life on the Line

Situated in a lush green glade of the Botanic Gardens, Life on the Line is a good example of a show that compliments and is complemented by its setting. With a positive message promoting outdoor play and kindness in its young audience, this is plainly wholesome fun that knows its audience and works to engage them. This show exemplifies many of the most admirable qualities of what the Fringe can offer. Tucked away in a grassy area of the Botanic Gardens, it truly feels like the sort of hidden gem one happens upon one sunny afternoon.
The fundamental, unpretentious good-naturedness of this show means that even the most cynical people will likely be forced to embrace its good-natured message.
Hilda the Hills Hoist takes centre stage throughout and lends her frame to a host imaginative scenarios. The performance is by turns acrobatic, comic, and musical, but always silly. Having brought Hilda all the way from Australia’s east coast, the pair’s passion is hardly up for debate. They then proceed to go about the show with all the joy and excitement one could hope of two people willing to undertake such an endeavour.
In the performance I attended, there was a slight technical difficulty which I note only for their ability to work through it and improvise. Their rawness and openness in performance means that a technical issue poses far less of an issue for them than it would others.
The winning performance delights in the silly and is sure to win the hearts of all children (and children-at-heart). It’s a good show for people of all ages and while it features audience participation – a terrifying prospect to many – it does so in an excellent style that should remain a fond memory after the performance’s conclusion. A goodness of spirit and honest glee in the chaotic permeates this show and ensures that it should be one of the staples of a family’s Fringe outing.
The show’s rougher edges are never an issue as they only go further toward what the show is at its core – a thing of child-like imagination and enjoyment. At its heart, this show is just about children playing outside and turning the mundane into the fantastic.

 


Words by Liam McNally

Four stars.

Life on the Line is playing February 24, March 2-3, and March 16-17, three time a day, at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens’ Plane Tree Lawns (access via the Friends’ Gate). Tickets are available here.

Cirque Nocturne

Cirque Nocturne has us stepping back into the 1940s as crime noir and circus come together. While the story-line is pun-tastic and features a Private Investigator’s (PI) murder investigation, the real show is, of course, that of the performers. Cirque Nocturne features a variety of local talent which serves to simultaneously entrance, impress, and inspire the audience.

 

Featuring an assortment of acts, there is something for everyone. With each act a new femme fatal or shady figure is uncovered, and both the audience and PI are one step closer to solving the crime. Glamourous and dark, we see the “hidden” talents of each new character as they take to the stage to wow us with their skills. A trapeze artist, an aerialist, a juggler (or two), acrobats, and even a fire twirler, as each new suspect performs both raising and placating the PI’s suspicions.

 

While the performance on Wednesday was not entirely seamless, the performers on stage were incredibly skilled and certainly worth seeing.  From juggling to fire twirling and hoops to aerial skills you are sure to be entertained.

 


Words by Kayla Gaskell.

Three and a half stars.

Cirque Nocturne is playing at the Empyrean in Gluttony at 9:50pm nightly until the 4th. Tickets available here.